Thursday, January 31, 2008

German Unemployment January 2008

Germany's unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in 15 years in January with manufacturers adding staff to meet global demand for their products. The German unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, dropped to 8.1 percent, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said today. The adjusted number of people without work fell by 89,000 to 3.41 million.

Employment growth remained robust in December 2007. According to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office, the number of persons in employment in December was up by 596,000 or 1.5% on December 2006. Compared with November 2007 the number of persons in employment was down by 139,000, which was a smaller decline than is usual at this time of the year. In December 2007, there were 40.15 million persons in employment whose place of residence was Germany.

The relative increase compared with December 2006 (+1.5%) was slightly smaller than the respective increases for September, October and November (+1.6% each on a year earlier). However we need to take into account of the favourable employment situation in December 2006 (the high base effect).

As is usual at that time of the year, the number of people in employment decreased in December 2007 on the previous month. Compared with November, it was down by 139,000. That was a markedly smaller decrease than the November-to-December decreases observed on an average of the previous five years (–178,000).

The impression of robust growth is supported by the trend of the seasonally adjusted number of persons in employment, that is upon elimination of the typical seasonal fluctuations. Compared with November, the number was up by 37,000 persons. The growth of the seasonally adjusted number of persons in employment even increased slightly since July.

Based on the labour force survey, Destatis published a seasonally adjusted 3.35 million unemployed for December 2007. Compared with the same month a year earlier (December 2006), the number of unemployed was down by 530,000 persons or 13.6%. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate – which is harmonised at the EU level and measured as the share of unemployed in the total labour force – amounted to 7.8% and was thus considerably below the level of the corresponding month of the previous year (9.0%).

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